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Turntable sales are through the roof - it might be worth stocking up

Daniel Gumble
Turntable sales are through the roof - it might be worth stocking up

With turntable sales through the roof, MI retailers might want to look at increasing their stock in 2016, says MI Pro editor, Daniel Gumble.

Vinyl, it seems, is making a comeback. For the traditionalists among you, it probably never went away, but as far as the music buying public is concerned, its retro appeal soars higher than ever.

No doubt there are a few hipster types out there with a borrowed nostalgia for the medium that will maintain it’s the only way they’ve ever consumed their music but, for the most part, the past ten years have been about free downloads, YouTube, iTunes and streaming services.

Of course, few would argue that an MP3 file can compete with the satisfying crackle, pop and hiss of needle on vinyl, not to mention the demonstrably superior audio quality. Yet, in the eyes of many, price and practicality is king. People have gotten used to paying negligible fees – if any at at all - for their music, and they certainly don’t want it in a space-occupying physical format the size of your average dinner plate.
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Or so it seemed.

According to The Scotsman, HMV (remember them?) was forced to double the floor space it usually allocates to vinyl due to unprecedented sales and, in the week before Christmas, it is said to have sold one turntable every minute.

And it wasn’t just HMV. High street retailer John Lewis reported a 240 per cent increase in turntable sales last year, while Amazon revealed that turntables were its top selling audio product at Christmas.

The reasons for such a surge are manifold. Some will genuinely be tiring of the, arguably, soulless process of downloading and streaming music to listen to through one’s mobile; others will have likely purchased a turntable as a novelty gift for themselves or their loved ones.

Either way, now could be the time for dealers to get in on the action.

A great many dealers stock product outside of the traditional spectrum - usually merch lines, such as t-shirts, mugs, keyrings etc, so perhaps it’s worth stocking up on a few turntables for the new year.

Whether it’s seasoned music fans that have been inspired by this recent trend to shell out on a new record player to replace their knackered model from the ‘50s, or younger fans intrigued by a world of music that exists outside of their iPhone, there’s clearly a thirst for records and record players that is there to be capitalised upon. 

It might even be worth stocking a few secondhand classic albums on vinyl for your customers to peruse. After all, they’ll probably want something to play on their shiny new turntable. Ask your customers and see what they think.

Whichever way you look at it, there is a clear shift in buying habits at work here, and it would be foolish for MI retailers to ignore it.

Tags: Retail , dj , Opinion , turntables

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